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How to Identify How Old Your Roof Is [Homeowner’s Guide]

Do you find yourself asking, “how old is my roof?” Chances are, it’s getting up there in age. 

Every roof ages differently and has a different life span depending on the roofing materials. For example, asphalt shingle roofs should last up to 25 years, while metal roofing will last up to 70 years with proper installation and maintenance. 

However, as your roof continues to age, you’ll likely have to repair it more frequently. Eventually, there will come a time when the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of a replacement — which is why it’s important to keep track of how old your roof is so you know when to consider other options.

Keep reading to learn more about how to identify your roof’s age.

The Signs of an Aging Roof

While the age of your roof may not be an immediate concern, you’ll still need to know what the signs of an aging roof look like. Below are the signs that can help you figure out whether a repair is in order or a complete replacement:

  • Curled or Missing Shingles – Curled shingles, regardless of the material, are typically the result of the pressure from heavy winds, exposure to extreme heat, and of course, time. Once your roof’s shingles start curling, they won’t function as they’re designed to, which means they won’t be able to protect your roof or home anymore. The same goes for missing shingles, which can cause significant bald spots and weak points across your roof. Shingles tend to go missing in harsh conditions or over time as the adhesive used to install them begins to wear down. When there’s a large area of missing shingles, it’s usually a sign that you need a new roof.
  • Damaged Roof Valleys – Roof valleys are the component of your roof that enables water to flow directly off your roof. When they’re damaged due to age or improper installation, they’ll start wrinkling or develop holes, cracks, and tears. When roof valleys become damaged, your home will be at risk for significant leaks. When left neglected, it’ll also likely begin rotting, which will lead to severe water damage to the inside of your home and its structure.
  • Rusted Flashing – Your roof flashing is a thin piece of metal that’s designed to prevent leaks from occurring. It’s also one of the components that tends to need replacing long before a roof has reached its peak, so it can be difficult to tell if the damage is due to aging or early wear and tear. If you notice that your roof flashing is cracked, rusted, or damaged in another way, it’s safe to assume that the culprit is both early wear and aging.

How Old Is My Roof? 4 Ways to Determine the Age of Your Roof

Whether your roof is damaged from the elements or aging, it’s still important to know its exact age (or a ballpark number). This will help you make a better decision regarding whether you should move forward with repairs or a complete roof replacement when the time comes.

Below are the four things you can do to determine the age of your roof:

1. Speak With the Previous Owners 🤳

If your home was a recent purchase (within the past few years), tracking down the previous owners is usually the most direct way to find out the age of your roof. Of course, if the previous owners weren’t the original owners of your home, they may have no idea how old the roof is.

If the original owners are unreachable or don’t know how old your roof is, it’s a safe bet that it’s nearing the end.

2. Get a Hold of the Building Permit 📃

If you can get your hands on your home’s original building permit, you’ll be able to get all the information regarding any contracting work that was done on your home. This would include roof replacements and repairs. 

With a little research, you can find out if your county or municipality requires building permits for roof installations. If it does, you can get in touch with your local country government and request a copy of the permit. If roofing work in your location requires an official building permit, then it will contain the exact date of your roof’s installation and any repairs it’s had.

3. Get in Touch With the Original Roofing Company For a Receipt 📜

If you’re familiar with the brand of shingles used for your home’s roof or can find out the name of the roofing contractor who installed the last roof, you can easily contact them and ask about their records.

Usually, all they’ll need is your address to look up in their records, and they’ll be able to tell you the installation date and any other information regarding your roof. 

4. Get Your Roof Inspected 👷

If you’ve run out of options, then getting your roof inspected by a reliable and trusted contractor is your best bet. Most contractors offer free basic roof inspections, which are usually enough to tell the roofer everything he or she needs to know regarding a roof’s age. 

The roofing contractor also may be able to obtain your property’s records which will give you an idea of your roof’s age as well as the amount of time it has left. What’s more, the inspection will uncover any damages you’re unaware of and give you a straight answer as to whether you need repairs or a full replacement. 

Don’t Know the Age of Your Roof?

old house roof and window before replacement

Your roof is designed to protect your home and your family from the elements and any other potential damage. Therefore, knowing the age of your roof is crucial to keeping your home structurally safe. 

When you need a professional opinion, Melo Roofing can help. Call us today to schedule a free inspection, and we’ll help you figure out how old your roof is and guide you in the right direction from there!

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